Sunday, June 04, 2006

NYT article on AMLO

Thanks to my brother for pointing out this lengthy NYT article on López Obrador. It seems mostly intended to attack him.

What interests me the most, however, is the use of the word “populist.” In short, if I were reviewing this article for an academic journal, I would recommend not publishing it.

The title of the article is “The Populist at the Border” (he was mayor of Mexico City, which is a long way from the border, but let’s leave that aside for now). He defines “populism” as “a bitter disenchantment with the fruits of globalization and a rising hostility to what, in Latin America, is usually derided as neoliberalism.” He cites AMLO, Argentine President Kirchner, Evo Morales and Chávez as examples.

He then immediately contradicts this by arguing that Kirchner, though a populist, focuses on local elites and not the U.S. push for global markets. Later, he does the same again by saying that AMLO has no animus toward the United States, won’t nationalize industries, and instead aims his criticism at Mexican business and politics. He even quotes Jorge Castañeda, who says explicitly that AMLO is not Chávez.

So although the crux of his argument is that AMLO is a populist (and a dangerous one at that) he is admitting that AMLO does not in fact have the characteristics of a populist as he has defined it. According to the article itelf, he is running under the banner of a well-established party, no one believes he wants to tear down Mexican insitutions or nationalize major industries, and he has pledged a good relationship with the United States.

Michelle has posted about other AMLO stories. Although AMLO may have his problems, I find it hard to believe he will be as horrible as the U.S. press suggests.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP